ATOS and Theatre Organ History

Upcoming Virtual Events
Performance Type
May 25 9:00pm in Ann Arbor, Michigan Andrew Rogers Mini-Concert
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Pre-Recorded Concert
May 29 12:00pm in Joliet, Illinois various Quarantine Concerts
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Virtual Concert
June 5 12:00pm in Joliet, Illinois various Quarantine Concerts
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Virtual Concert
June 5 7:00pm in Ann Arbor, Michigan Andrew Rogers THE GENERAL
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Pre-Recorded Concert
June 7 3:00pm in Ann Arbor, Michigan Andrew Rogers THE GENERAL
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Pre-Recorded Concert
June 11 7:00pm in Ann Arbor, Michigan Andrew Rogers THE GENERAL
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Pre-Recorded Concert
July 4 11:30am in Phoenix, Arizona Natsuki Saballos Virtual 4th of July Concert
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Virtual Concert

The history of the theatre pipe organ has its roots in the industrial revolution, and the use of electricity to control mechanical valves, combined with talented organ builders capable of making pipes take on the sound of windblown musical instruments. The origin of these unique instruments began with the need to provide musical background to the silent film. and rapidly evolved as the era of live entertainment occurred in the first third of the 20th century. This set of history pages is far from definitive, however it is designed to provide an introduction to the history of theatre organs, particularly in America. The material is mostly retrospective, but the recent efforts of ATOS Chapters are provided to give a contemporary look at the current activities forming history today.

You can start with a wonderful overview of the history of the theatre organ by David Kelzenberg here:
Theatre Organ History
You can read about the formation of the American Theatre Organ Society here:
ATOS History

The American Theatre Organ Society Archive Collection is housed at the American Organ institute at the University of Oklahoma.
The ATOS provides scholarship support to the university for archive students that are sorting, categorizing, and digitizing the collection. Soon all back issues of the Theatre Organ Journal will digitized and available online.
You can view some of their work here:
ATOS Archives

Jesse Crawford

Pasadena Civis Auditorium Moller

George Wright